Secure psychiatric care: How appearance and neglect affect women
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Secure psychiatric care: How appearance and neglect affect women

Clive Long Associate director of psychology and psychological therapies, St Andrew’s Academic Centre, Northampton
Elizabeth Ritchie Self-care/beauty therapist, St Andrew’s Healthcare, Northampton
Olga Dolley Assistant psychologist, St Andrew’s Healthcare, Northampton
Lesley Collins Service director, St Andrew’s Healthcare, Northampton

Clive Long and colleagues report on an intervention that can help inpatients look after themselves more effectively and integrate successfully in the community

Aim To provide effective interventions for body image, appearance, and physical health and self-care for women in secure psychiatric settings.

Method A manualised group intervention is described that addresses the reality of the issues linked to how people present themselves on a daily basis. The article also examines how interventions can be used to help overcome stigma and encourage successful community integration.

Results Observed changes that moved ratings to those typical of non-clinical samples are likely to make future community reintegration easier.

Conclusion There were significant and positive changes evident on various measures relating to appearance, self-care and body image, despite no loss of weight, in 19 women who completed treatment.

Mental Health Practice. 16, 8, 12-17. doi: 10.7748/mhp2013.


Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Conflict of interest

None declared

Accepted: 20 July 2012